She, Myself, and I by Emma Young | ARC Review

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Title: She, Myself, and I

Author: Emma Young

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publisher: Amulet Books

Published: September 5th, 2017

Format: e-ARC via Netgalley

Rating: 2 stars

 

 

Ever since Rosa’s nerve disease rendered her quadriplegic, she’s depended on her handsome, confident older brother to be her rock and her mirror. But when a doctor from Boston chooses her to be a candidate for an experimental brain transplant, she and her family move from London in search of a miracle. Sylvia—a girl from a small town in Massachusetts—is brain dead, and her parents have agreed to donate her body to give Rosa a new life. But when Rosa wakes from surgery, she can’t help but wonder, with increasing obsession, who Sylvia was and what her life was like. Her fascination with her new body and her desire to understand Sylvia prompt a road trip based on self-discovery… and a surprising new romance. But will Rosa be able to solve the dilemma of her identity?


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This in no way influences my opinion on the book.

My Review Graphic

Oh boy. Here’s the deal: I wanted like this book. The premise sounded strange, but overall very intriguing to me, hence why I requested it. Unfortunately, this book disappointed me on many counts.

This book explores Rosa after she receives a brain transplant so that she now has the body of a different girl. It’s a very unique premise and that’s one of the reason I was excited when I got approved for the e-galley. Rosa is lost – wondering if she’s still her or if Sylvia, her donor, and the original owner of the body she now inhabits, is a part of her that she’ll never be able to shake.

“What will I become? If I fall in love or strike a person, will she be doing the loving or hitting, or me? If I sleep with someone, without her consent, could it classify as abuse?”

First off, if you’re looking for a book that features a main character with a disability, I suggest venturing elsewhere. There’s barely any mention of her life pre-Sylvia.

Yes, I know that the blurb mentions that she gets a new body, but I figured we’d get some information about what state she’d been in before. Instead, there were vague mentions of a “nerve disease” and it seemed like from the first few pages that she was quadriplegic (although she mentions moving her hand slightly?). But after that, she gets the surgery, and there is barely any mention of whatever condition she had. (Of course, the blurb does mention that she’s quadriplegic, but it’s missing from the actual book).

This is forgivable to an extent, since I gleaned from the blurb that the book wouldn’t be about her illness anyway. The real thing that ruined the book for me was the main character and her reckless, dangerous decisions that put her in harm’s way time, after time, after time.

This girl clearly had no regard for anything but her “mission”. With her new body, she visits the town and friends of her donor and interacts with them, not considering what kind of pain that would put them through. She leaves her hospital, where she was not discharged, without telling her family where she was going, and runs off with this guy she barely knows (though the romance was swoony – we’ll get to that later) and doesn’t consider her own safety.

 

I’d call her selfish, but she didn’t really care about her mental well-being either. The doctors specifically warn her that finding out a bunch of details about the donor would mess with her psychosis. Does she care? Not really. When she gets dizzy spouts and faints, does she tell her doctors? Nope. [SPOILER: This is apparently explained as side effects of her medication later on, rather than the mental trauma she put herself through but she a) didn’t know this at the time and wanted to keep exploring and b) didn’t even fully believe it once she found out. END OF SPOILER]

She did this random stuff constantly and the guy she was with was so chill about it, I wanted to scream. You lied to me? Okay. You ran off down the street while I chased you, multiple times? No worries. You flirted with another guy after kissing me? Whatever! I’ll stick with you no matter what!

Okay then

Two things made this book somehwhat enjoyable for me: the ending and the romance.

As I said before, the romance was pretty sweet. Joe is a cute guy, a nice guy, a bit of a pushover, but he really cares about Rosa’s well-being. He’s also a writer, a journalist to be specific, and I thought that was very cute as well.

The ending helped to salvage this book for me. For the majority of the story, Rosa makes reckless, impulsive, and dangerous decisions, but in the end she finally seems to learn how to think things through. I found myself enjoying the last 15% of this novel, as she starts to make amends with Joe, her family, and herself.

I’m sad that I couldn’t enjoy this book. Not only that, but it’s pretty forgettable. I’m writing this review just days after finishing, and it took me a while to remember the character names. Unfortunately, despite my hopes, She, Myself, and I, just wasn’t for me.

“Who you are has nothing to do with what you look like. It has nothing to do with the girl who gave you her body.”

2 star rating

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC for review. This in no way influences my opinion on the book.

Are you guys planning on picking up She, Myself, and I? Did I turn you off it? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Also! My blogiversary is coming up, and to ask me questions, comment on this post!

Stay bookish,

Jordyn

Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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4 thoughts on “She, Myself, and I by Emma Young | ARC Review

  1. I read this book recently (well, I guess a month ago) and I had similar feelings. I was a little bothered by the fact that this is somewhat allegedly a book about disability but it literally doesn’t even talk about it. On top of that, Rosa gets a magical cure, which is super problematic. I was definitely also annoyed by her running around and making really bad decisions. It always makes me uncomfortable when I don’t like a book, so it’s nice to see someone else felt similarly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. NetGalley has been such a hit and miss experience for me lately, I never know if I actually want to request anything or not hahaha
    I think, from what I read here, I would probably have very similar feelings about the book as you do. Great review, even if it’s unfortunate that the book wasn’t that enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, I relate to this a lot. When I first got Netgalley, everything I was reading was awesome, but lately it feels like the books I’m picking I don’t even like and I finish them purely for obligation 😬 hopefully it’s just a phase, for both of us! Thank you! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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